Current as of: July 23, 2024 - 15:22

AAE

Discover Chile Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
  • Destination: Chile
  • Programmes: Culture
  • Activity Level:

    3 out of 7 - Moderate

  • 15 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 13 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 16+
  • Trip Code: AAE
  • Carbon Footprint: 119kg CO2e

Trip Overview

The best of Chile: Atacama Desert, Lake District and Patagonia

Chile’s narrow coastal strip stretches for 2,670mi (4,300km) and is dominated by the towering peaks of the Andes. Covering over half the length of South America, Chile has an unparalleled range of environments, from the highest, driest desert in the world, the dramatic Atacama, with its geysers and salt flats, to the fertile valleys and vineyards of central Chile. To the south lies the Lake District with picturesque, snow-capped volcanoes, deep-blue lakes and gushing waterfalls. Further south still, we reach Patagonia, a land of ice fields, mountains, glaciers and immense solitude.

Discover Chile

Join us to celebrate Exodus’ 50th anniversary! Select departures of this trip feature extra inclusions to mark the occasion: an astronomy tour in Atacama, a local birthday celebration and a special edition Exodus kitbag. The selected departures on this trip start in Santiago on 14 October 2024 and 4 November 2024.

At a Glance

  • 12 nights in hotels
  • Travel by internal flights, bus/minibus and boat
  • Time spent at altitude in Atacama
  • Some long drives and early starts
  • Easter Island extension available

Highlights

  • Visit the unique and colourful Pacific Coast city of Valparaiso
  • Take excursions to the Atacama salt flats, altiplano lagoons and El Tatio geysers
  • Enjoy the sunset over the Valley of the Moon in the Atacama Desert
  • Embark on city tours in cosmopolitan Santiago, German-influenced Puerto Varas, and the fish market of Puerto Montt
  • See the Petrohue Falls, enjoy a boat cruise on Lago Todos los Santos, and walk at Osorno Volcano
  • Visit Patagonia and the granite towers of Torres del Paine National Park
  • See four distinct regions of Chile thanks to the included internal flights, which reduce driving distances

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is graded Activity Level 3 (Moderate). For more information on our trip gradings please visit the Activity Level Guidelines page. If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip please do not hesitate to contact us.

This is a busy itinerary that visits the highlights of Chile. We travel by private minibus and take five internal flights to allow you to experience as much as possible of this beautiful and diverse county in a short time. As such, there are some long travelling days on this trip.

Adult min age: 16

Min group size: 5

Max group size: 16

Itinerary

AAE Map

Land Only

  • Start City: Santiago
  • End City: Santiago

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Start Santiago; city tour

This afternoon we start with a tour of Santiago (approximately three hours), visiting the squares and streets of the colonial center and the Presidential Palace. We also visit San Cristobal Hill, on which a Virgin Mary statue stands. The summit offers a bird’s-eye view of the city, Andean Mountains and Maipo-Valley. It is, without a doubt, the best viewpoint in the city.  The city tour will usually start around 3pm, which means you need to be at the hotel by 2.30pm.

Accommodation: Panamericana Hotel Providencia (or similar)

Day 2
Full-day excursion to the enigmatic port city of Valparaiso

The Unesco World Heritage city of Valparaíso, or Valpo for short, is the oldest port in Chile and home to the National Congress since democracy was re-established in 1989. The Pacific Coast is just a 90-minute drive from Santiago and today’s excursion will give us an interesting insight into Chilean culture.

The many hills in the city are covered in a glorious sprawl of multi-coloured houses, creating a spectacular panorama, which can be enjoyed from several vantage points. We’ll visit the Unesco-listed historic city centre, plus the parliamentary building, and the War of the Pacific memorial.

Due to steep terrain in some parts of the city, there are numerous funicular lifts to transport residents up and down the hillsides. Many of these have fallen into disrepair and sit suspended in time and hidden amid the labyrinth of buildings. However, there is a drive to restore as many as possible and we can use one of the most iconic functioning lifts on our way to a viewpoint. In the afternoon, we return to our Santiago hotel.

Accommodation: Panamericana Hotel Providencia (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3
Fly to Calama; to San Pedro de Atacama

In the morning, we fly to Calama near the Atacama Desert where we transfer to our hotel in the town of San Pedro de Atacama. After check-in, our leader will offer a short orientation tour of the town for anyone who wants to join. At dusk, we set out to the Valley of the Moon. This bizarre lunar landscape is set ablaze with colour at sunset, the strange rock formations framed by the Lincancabur Volcano. We’ll stay until the sun goes down to enjoy the array of colours before returning to San Pedro.

Accommodation: Hotel Diego de Almagro (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4
Visit Salar de Atacama and Altiplano Lagoons

Departing our San Pedro hotel, we set off towards the Altiplano Lagoons (Lagunas Altiplanicas) and stop en route at the village of Socaire, set at 10,558ft (3,218m). The village is noteworthy for its peculiar rough-stonework architecture and the inhabitants still live by age-old methods of planting terraced fields with corn, wheat and potatoes.

After, we continue for about another 19mi (30km), climbing an additional 3,281ft (1,000m) in altitude to reach the highland lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques. The two volcanoes of the same name are visible in the background (almost 19,686ft/6,000m high). The twin lagoons are a deep blue, each framed by a white salt crust, which creates a memorable contrast to the yellow highland grass all around. It is completely silent here. Even the duck species that breed here, the foxes, and the grazing vicuñas (a type of camelid), respect the majestic silence.

We then visit the Salar de Atacama. A salt lake of huge proportions (1,158 sqmi/3,000sqkm), it is covered by a thick layer of snow-white salt crystals, caused by the evaporation of the lake water. The largest lithium deposits in the world are found here, but the salt pan is also home to several flamingo species, including the Andean, Chilean and James, which feed on the micro-organisms in the saline lagoons. Look out for these beautiful birds and other species in their natural habitat at Chaxa Lagoon, which is part of the Reserva Nacional de los Flamencos. After the excursion, we return to San Pedro.

Accommodation: Hotel Diego de Almagro (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5
Excursion to El Tatio geysers; optional night-time astronomy tour

We’ll have to get up very early to arrive at the El Tatio Geysers, which are more than 14,108ft (4,300m) above sea level, in time for sunrise. The fountains, which can shoot up to 33ft (10m) high, occur when the morning sun melts the nightly ice caps that form over the hot springs. The first rays reflect an array of colours as they mix with boiling geyser jets to create strong contrasts of steam and light.

Around midday, we return to San Pedro for some free time. Returning along the same route, accompanied by the Andes and their volcanoes, we will make a short stop on the way at the Putana wetland, where we can observe different species of birds in front of the Colorado volcano.  There is an optional astronomy tour tonight that highlights the southern sky.  This excursion should be booked in advance of departure as availability is limited and does not operate during full moon. Please speak to your sales representative if interested.

Accommodation: Hotel Diego de Almagro (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6
Fly to Puerto Montt; to Puerto Varas on the shore of Lago Llanquihue

Today we transfer to Calama airport and fly to Santiago and then Puerto Montt, the capital of the Lake District. This is a long travelling day that will likely require an early start depending on the flight schedules. On arrival in the Lake District, we drive for 30 minutes to Puerto Varas on the shores of Lago Llanquihue. Depending on flight arrival time, we can enjoy a brief tour of the City of the Roses, named for the tremendous variety of roses all over town. If we’re scheduled to arrive on a later flight, we recommend that you buy food at the airport as you may not have many options on arrival at the hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel Park Inn by Radisson (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7
Lago Todos los Santos boat trip; walk near Osorno Volcano

We set out this morning for a full day inside the Lake District. We drive along the shore of Lago Llanquihue and enjoy breathtaking views of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. Our first real stop will be at the Saltos de Petrohue, where cooling lava from the Osorno Volcano formed a series of rapids and waterfalls. Together they create an impressive sculpture of extruded volcanic rock shaped by thousands of years of river flow. At Petrohue, we board a boat for a short cruise of Lago Todos los Santos. The lake is surrounded by high mountains and the lower slopes are thickly forested. As we pull away from the landing and the source of the river Petrohue, the view is quickly stolen by the tremendous size and proximity of snow-capped Osorno Volcano behind us. After our boat tour, we return to Petrohue and hike in the lower lava fields of the volcano. We also visit the Green Lagoon (Laguna Verde) before we return towards Puerto Varas in the afternoon. Please note, the order of the itinerary today may change depending on the weather conditions.

Accommodation: Hotel Park Inn by Radisson (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8
Fly to Punta Arenas; transfer to Puerto Natales

After breakfast, we transfer to the capital of the Lake District, Puerto Montt, and take a sightseeing tour of the city. Puerto Montt was founded in 1853 by German colonists on the site of an indigenous Mapuche community. Downtown we take time to walk around the main squares and historical monuments. After, we visit the port, where there is a large handicraft market full of artisan goods. Please note, depending on the flight times, this tour might be moved to the previous day instead. We then transfer to the airport to board a flight to Punta Arenas, Patagonia, the southernmost city in Chile. From here we transfer three hours to Puerto Natales where we spend the night.

Accommodation: Hostal Francis Drake (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 9
Full day excursion to see some of the highlights of Torres del Paine National Park

This morning we drive into Torres del Paine National Park for adventure in a spectacular environment. This is a busy day of travelling and walking taking in unforgettable views of the Towers and the Torres Massif from the Cuernos viewpoint and Salto Grande waterfall. We’ll also learn all about the regional flora and fauna and visit Laguna Azul for more breath-taking views.

Accommodation: Hotel del Paine (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10
Walking at Lago Grey; free time in Torres del Paine National Park

Another day in Torres del Paine National Park, this time to explore the western highlights including Lake Grey. This deep lake, fed by the glacier of the same name, is filled with icebergs which have splashed down from the massive ice flow. From the hotel, we’ll drive to the south of the lake, then start a short hike by crossing a bridge over the Pingo River.

From here, the path leads through a Legna forest typical to the area, and continues to the tip of a narrow peninsula at the southern end of the lake. This viewpoint offers a spectacular view of the water with its icebergs, the tongue of Grey Glacier at the northern end, and the snow-covered mountain peaks soaring above. On the way back, we stop at the visitor centre to learn about the origin and history of the park. This afternoon is free to relax at the hotel or enjoy optional excursions in the area.

Accommodation: Hotel del Paine (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11
Optional Grey Glacier navigation; to Puerto Natales

This morning you have some free time or you can take part in an optional boat excursion to the Grey Glacier. If you don’t want to take the optional excursion, the leader will accompany you on visits to other areas of Torres del Paine. After, we regroup and visit the Milodon Cave (entrance fee not included and payee locally approximately US$8 per person). Today we will end in Puerto Natales and transfer together to the hotel, arriving around 5.30pm.

Accommodation: Hostal Francis Drake (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 12
To Punta Arenas; fly to Santiago

Today we transfer back through the barren Pampa of Patagonia to Punta Arenas airport for our flight to Santiago (flight times can vary) to enjoy our final evening in Chile.

Accommodation: Panamericana Hotel Providencia (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 13
End Santiago

Our trip ends this morning after breakfast. However, if you’d like the adventure to continue, speak to your sales representative about joining our Easter Island extension. Alternatively, you may want to extend your stay in Santiago, the cosmopolitan capital of Chile.

Meals included: Breakfast

Post-trip Extensions

Easter Island (5 days / 4 nights)

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 2,485mi (4,000km) from the coast of Chile, is an island that still holds a special magic and mystery. Europeans landed on Rapa Nui, as the locals call it, on Easter Sunday and to this day it is known by many as Easter Island. So far from everything and everyone, isolated by the largest ocean in the world, it demonstrates a rich history, art, language and once even suffered a civil war – all upon an island less than 15mi (25km) across.

This five-day extension will enable you to explore this triangle-shaped land, which has extinct volcanic cones in each of its three corners. Amid friendly Polynesian hospitality, the entire island is an open‐air museum with approximately 900 moai (statues), the tallest of which is 68ft (21m) high. There is also the Orongo Village and many traditional cave dwellings open to view. The detailed itinerary can be found here.

Please ask your sales representative for more details (flight prices will be quoted separately to the price of the extension). Prices listed are starting prices.

Price per person

£ 1299


Mandatory Single Supplement

£ 465

Accommodation

Hotels

Discover Chile

The regionally inspired three-star hotels selected for our Discover Chile trip ensure we are comfortable, as our wide-ranging adventure takes us from the Atacama Desert in the north, through cosmopolitan Santiago, into German styled Puerto Varas in the Lakes District, and to the wilds of Patagonia in the far south. Below are the hotels we typically use.

Santiago: Panamericana Hotel Providencia (nights 1, 2 and 12)

Discover Chile

The Panamericana Hotel Providencia offers a blend of classical and contemporary décor in the upscale neighborhood of Providencia. It has comfortable and spacious rooms, a swimming pool, fitness center, and variety of culinary options. It is also conveniently near the metro station, Mapocho River walk and the Metropolitan Park.

San Pedro de Atacama: Hotel Diego de Almagro (nights 3-5)

Discover Chile

Hotel Diego de Almagro is in the center of San Pedro de Atacama, granting easy access to shops and restaurants. It has an outdoor pool and large garden with native plants and flowers where you can relax and enjoy views of the Licancabur volcano.

Puerto Varas: Hotel Park Inn by Radisson (nights 6-7)

Discover Chile

Alongside an architectural style that reflects the German heritage of the city, the Hotel Park Inn by Radisson has an outdoor swimming pool and is only a few blocks from Lake Llanquihue. It also has spacious and comfortable rooms, plus a restaurant serving regional and international cuisines.

Puerto Natales: Hostal Francis Drake (nights 8 and 11)

Discover Chile

Locally owned and operated, Hostal Francis Drake has 19 warmly decorated rooms, a large dining room and two comfortable reading rooms where you can relax after a day exploring Torres del Paine National Park. The location affords easy access to Puerto Natales shopping and dining, plus it’s just two blocks from the windswept bay.

Torres del Paine: Hotel del Paine (nights 9-10)

Discover Chile

Hotel Paine is a mountain hotel on the banks of the Serrano River with a privileged view of the spectacular Paine massif. The rooms are cosy, with wooden furniture and warm colors that reflect the culture and environment of Patagonia. The restaurant and bar serve delicious cuisine based on local products and include organic vegetables grown on site.

Single supplement from £ 995

Food & Drink

All breakfasts and two dinners are included.

All areas offer good quality local and international meals. Beef is very popular in Chile, especially steak, and most dishes tend to be quite meaty. In Patagonia, lamb is the most popular meat. There is also delicious, freshly caught fish and seafood in areas closer to the coast. Service can be slow in restaurants.

Vegetarian food is available in many of the restaurants, but options may be limited, especially in Patagonia. Please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests.

Transport

We use comfortable buses or minibuses throughout the trip. Most of the roads are well maintained. There are five internal flights included in the itinerary, normally using the services of LAN Chile or SKY Airline. Please note, the timings of these internal flights can be quite erratic and there can often be unforeseen delays. Depending on the schedules and availability of these flights, changes to the itinerary are possible.

Weather & Seasonality

Chile is in the southern hemisphere, so our trips run between October and March, to take advantage of the longer, warmer days in the rather brief summer period. During these months, temperatures in Santiago reach a maximum of 35C (95F), while in Puerto Montt they are more likely to be around 20C (68F).  Patagonian summers tend to be dry although rain cannot be ruled out, particularly in the mountainous regions along the Chile-Argentina border where you might experience all four seasons in one day!  Patagonia is renowned for being windy…and sometimes very windy (dress accordingly and watch your step).  In Patagonia the changing weather is part of the adventure, however in extreme wind/weather conditions our Tour Leader may modify the days itinerary in favor of passengers safety.

Joining Instructions

Key information

Start hotel: Panamerica Hotel Providencia, Francisco Noguera 146, Providencia, Santiago
Phone: +56 2 2863 2300
Recommended arrival time: Before 2pm at the start hotel to join the city tour
Airport: Santiago de Chile Airport (SCL)

Getting to the start hotel

The start hotel is approximately 20 minutes’ drive from the airport. Your options for this journey are:

Take an Exodus transfer 

Exodus provides one group arrival transfer from the airport, which is timed to coincide with the arrival of a chosen flight from London, UK. You may join this transfer at no extra cost, provided you can be at the airport before the transfer leaves. Speak to your sales representative for the group arrival transfer times or to arrange a private transfer.

Once you pass the customs check head to the exit.  Due to the large number of people in arrivals area, you may not see your guide or driver at first sight holding an Exodus sign (you may have to check twice).  Stay close to La Picá Restaurant (between Gates 3 & 4) if you do not find your guide (they will find you). Our drivers and tour guides always wait for guests with a corresponding Exodus sign.

Make your own way 

If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the start hotel at your own expense. The taxi is likely to cost about 20,000-30,000 Chilean pesos (US$30-45) – you should not pay more than this.

Please be aware there is a taxi scam operating at Santiago Airport. Our on-the-ground partners have advised:

If the tour guide and guest do not meet at the airport, the guest should call our 24-hour emergency phone: +56-9 9883 7834. Guests should save this phone number on their mobile phone before they travel. The number is also accessible via WhatsApp on the free wifi at the airport.

Under no circumstances should clients accept phone calls from the taxi driver’s mobile phone. Also, the taxi ride should not be paid in cash to the driver. Our services are already paid. If our driver is not at the airport, guests should only book a taxi in the office of an authorized taxi company inside the airport building. If you would like further information on joining this trip, please speak to your sales representative.

Catching your return flight

There’s a group departure transfer to the airport for customers who Exodus booked onto a chosen flight to London, UK. Please speak to your sales representative if you wish to join. If the group departure transfer does not suit your flight time, speak to your sales representative to arrange an alternative transfer.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: Santiago
Location end: Santiago

Transfer Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight – please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure.

Once you pass the customs check head to the exit.  Due to the large number of people in arrivals area, you may not see your guide or driver at first sight holding an Exodus sign (you may have to check twice).  Stay close to La Picá Restaurant (between Gates 3 & 4) if you do not find your guide (they will find you).

Please be aware our drivers and tour guides always wait for the guests with a corresponding Exodus sign.

If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense. The cost of a taxi is likely to be about 20,000-30,000 Chilean Pesos (US$30-45) should you decide to make your way independently.

You should not pay more than this for a taxi to your hotel!

Please be aware there is a taxi scam operating at Santiago Airport!

This is the information provided by our ground partners in Santiago:

  1. In case that the tour guide and guest do not meet at the airport, the guest will personally call our 24-hour emergency phone: +56-9 9883 7834. Guests should save this phone number on their mobile phone before they travel. The number is also accessible via WhatsApp on the free Wi-Fi at the airport!
  2. Please note that guests under no circumstances should accept phone calls from the pirate taxi driver’s mobile phone. Also, the taxi ride should not be paid in cash to the driver. Our services are already paid! If our driver is really not at the airport, guests should only book a taxi in the office of an authorized taxi company inside the airport building. This cost should not exceed more than 20,000 to 30,000 Chilean pesos (US$30-45).

What To Take

Essential Equipment

Although the trips take place at the best time of year, the weather is always rather unpredictable.  Come prepared for some wet days given the wide range of climates from Atacama to Patagonia.

  • Warm jacket
  • Comfortable shoes, preferably waterproof
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Warm gloves
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Sun hat with brim and a warm hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Swimwear

In Chile, the import of crops and animal products is strictly regulated to avoid vermin, plagues, and the diffusion of non-native plants and animals. Fresh fruits and vegetables cannot be imported. If you happen to be carrying such products, they must be discarded before getting to customs or declared and then handed over to be destroyed. You will be required to complete a declaration on arrival and your luggage will be checked. Failure to comply will result in large fines and time-consuming difficulties with border authorities. Please ensure you are not carrying these goods on arrival to avoid this problem.

Optional Equipment

  • Torch (flashlight) or headtorches (head lamps) for nights in Atacama & Patagonia
  • Travel or inflatable neck pillow / personal music player / books etc for the long drives
  • Small sewing kit with safety pins
  • Cold-water detergent or laundry soap (biodegradable), for items on the go

Practical Information

Passport

Remember to check the expiration date of your passport if travelling internationally. Many countries require your passport to be valid for at least six months after the date of your scheduled return.

Visa

Chile

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Chile. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

Please note, a PDI tourist card will be given to you by migration at Santiago airport, upon arrival to Chile, and asked for upon departure from Chile (please retain this important slip of paper). The PDI certifies that you are a visitor and must be given back to migration upon departure from Chile.

If you are travelling via the USA and are eligible to transit under the Visa Waiver Program, you are required to register in advance for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). There is a US$21 charge, which is only payable online. Please see our website www.exodus.co.uk/usvisa for further information.

Please note, not all nationalities have the same eligibility for travel to or transit via the USA, and you may not be covered by the visa waiver program. Regulations stipulate that any person who has travelled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen since March 2011, or have dual nationalities of these countries, may no longer qualify. In addition, if you have travelled to Cuba since 12 January 2021 you will not be eligible for the visa waiver program and should instead apply for a visa.

If you are in doubt of your eligibility, please check the visa requirements with your local US embassy.

To travel to Easter Island it is now compulsory to complete the single entry form to Easter Island (FUI). The form is available from LATAM.com Help Centre and also during online check-in. Customers may also complete it by accessing https://ingresorapanui.interior.gob.cl/

Vaccinations and Health

Chile

There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies and typhoid.

Dengue fever, a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes, is a known risk in places visited. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, so we recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Local Time

Chile's time zone: America/Santiago (UTC -04:00)

Electricity

Chile's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins) and L (three round pins in a row) – 220V, 50Hz

Discover Chile

Money

Chile's currency: Chilean peso (CLP)

ATM Availability

Check with your bank whether you can use your card to withdraw pesos at ATMs in Chile and what the charge will be for doing so. Credit cards are widely accepted and you can use your card in most restaurants and supermarkets.

Changing cash is relatively easy in most places, but you should be conscious of the security risk of bringing cash with you.

Please note, in San Pedro de Atacama there are two cash machines but it is better to take sufficient cash with you as these can be very busy and sometimes out of service. There are two ATMs on Easter Island, and you should bring Chilean pesos rather than US dollars if extending your trip here.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Chilean pesos are the national currency of Chile and therefore what you would use for spending money.  Credit cards are widely accepted (Visa & Mastercard are the most popular).

If bringing a foreign currency to exchange, we recommended US dollars. You can exchange British pounds in cash easily upon arrival in the airport, but once you have left Santiago, they can be difficult to exchange and the rates are not as good.

Please ensure you do not have any torn or damaged bank notes, as these are often not accepted in Chile. The exchange facilities should be used on arrival at the airport in Santiago. Exchange facilities are available in the centre of Santiago and some of the main towns throughout Chile, but these services are not guaranteed and opening/closing times can be erratic and not fit into the itinerary.

Chile is an increasingly popular country and is steadily getting more expensive. We recommend that you allow US$25-US$35 per meal for lunches and dinners, with higher prices in Patagonia. International and domestic departure tax is usually included in the price of the ticket.

Optional excursions
The following optional excursions are available for your trip (weather and timing dependent).   Due to high seasonal demand, we recommend our guests purchase these excursions with us at the time of booking to ensure your space on the excursion.

Grey Glacier Navigation in Torres del Paine National Park: US$130 (until Apr 2024)
This three-hour boat excursion takes you to Grey Glacier, the largest in Torres del Paine National Park. You cruise up the Grey lake toward the glacier, which reaches 30m (100ft) in height and 3.7mi (6 km) in width at its terminus. Pieces of ice both large and small regularly break off from the front of the glacier, falling into the water with a crack and a splash. It is a unique opportunity to get a close-up view of this amazing blue glacier.

Star observation tour from San Pedro de Atacama: US$52 (until Dec 2023) / US$60 (until Apr 2024)
There are few places in the world where the sky is as clear and the view of the stars so good, as in northern Chile.  During your visit, you will learn the basics of astronomy and the special features of the southern hemisphere (highlighted via laser pointer). You will also get an unforgettable glimpse of the distant stars and galaxies by looking through a telescope.  The tour takes place outside and warm clothing is highly recommended. Tours are shared with the public and limited to maximum of 16 people.
NOTE: This tour does not operate during the 7 nights around the full moon and will not operate during the following departures: 2024 (Feb 19), 2025 (3-Feb, 10-Mar, 8-Dec).

Note – Please speak to your Sales representative for details on including excursions. Cancel without penalty 14 days prior to departure for full refund, after that full penalty rate of excursion will be forfeited.  Full refund will apply in case of supplier cancellation due to local weather conditions.  Prices noted are subject to increase by local tour provider beyond price/dates listed and will be invoiced to our guests accordingly.

Tipping

To show your appreciation for local staff that accompany the trip, you may want to tip when good service has been delivered. Tipping is entirely at your discretion, but has become customary in Chile. We suggest around 4,750 Chilean pesos (US$5) per day for the guide and 1,900-2,900 pesos (US$2- US$3) per day for the drivers.

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips that have a positive impact on the people and places we visit and look after the planet we explore. Learn more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:

People

How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • Local guides keep you well informed about local traditions and cultural-social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally owned hotels, restaurants, and other enterprises, and by championing locally produced food wherever possible.
  • Read more about our other initiatives here.

Places

How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • By travelling in a small group we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively reduce waste; this includes eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles by providing refills for reusable bottles.
  • The payment of entrance fees to natural reserves and archaeological sites generates income which is used for upkeep and development of these important sites. In San Pedro de Atacama the entrance fee included to visit the attractions are going directly to the local indigenous communities who administrate those places such as: Moon Valley, Tatio Geyser and Atacama salt flats.
  • With our partners, Rewilding Apennines, we rewild 100 square meters (1,075 sqft) of land per passenger who travels with us.
  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration here, including our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels with us.

Planet

How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Accommodation and restaurants in the itinerary use locally sourced food which has not been transported long distances.
  • Our local partners hold a Sustainable Distinction provided by the Chilean Government through the Undersecretary of Tourism.
  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.

Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: we do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: please bring a reusable water bottle on this trip, also consider avoiding single-use hotel toiletries, which generate a large amount of plastic waste.

 

Important Information

Water safety

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. You should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim. Open-water or wild swim spots should be treated with extreme caution. Information on how to keep yourself safe while swimming is shown here.

In line with our ‘book and travel with confidence’ promise which allows you to cancel free of charge up to 42 days prior to departure, or transfer to another trip free of charge up to 21 days prior to your trip starting in country, please be aware that this excludes ‘irrecoverable costs’. Details can be found here: https://www.exodus.co.uk/about-exodus/exodus-booking-conditions

For this trip the irrecoverable costs related to in-country operations are outlined below, if booking flight inclusive your sales agent will confirm the terms related to your international flights at the time of booking.

Accommodation – £735 / US$907 / AU$1270 / €789

Single Supplement (if applicable) – £584 / US$721 / AU$1009 / €627

Internal flights – £567 / US$700 / AU$1107 / €609

Costs are accurate at time of writing in September 2021

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

Licensing

Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.